The Los Angeles Rams missed the playoffs during the 2019 season after making a run to the Super Bowl the year previous. It was a big slice of humble pie for Sean McVay and company, which has forced the franchise to consider re-tooling. Unfortunately, with changes comes the need to move on from certain players.
So far this offseason, two big offensive names have become available via trade for the Rams. Those two players are wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Todd Gurley. Let’s focus on Cooks for this article.
Last season with the Rams, Cooks saw his role diminish quite a bit due to the presence of Robert Woods and the emergence of Cooper Kupp from his torn ACL. He ended up catching 42 passes for 583 yards and just two touchdowns. Back in 2018, however, Cooks put up much bigger numbers with 80 receptions for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns.
Looking ahead at the remainder of the offseason, there are quite a few teams who could come calling for Cooks. The free agency market at wide receiver isn’t very deep and there are very few players available that can make the kind of impact that Cooks can make.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a closer look at three teams who should try to acquire Brandin Cooks from the Rams.
Chris Ballard and the Colts made it crystal clear that they are not going to take another season that ends up with them missing the playoffs. Right off the bat when the free agency negotiating window opened, the Colts made a blockbuster trade to acquire DeForest Buckner from the San Francisco 49ers. They backed that move up by signing veteran quarterback Philip Rivers to a one-year, $25 million contract.
T.Y. Hilton is one of the NFL’s elite wide receivers. He doesn’t receive as much talk due to the team he plays for, but he is a legitimate superstar. However, the Colts do not have much depth behind him at wide receiver.
Brandin Cooks could come in and be a lethal threat for Rivers across from Hilton. They only come in at No. 3 on this list due to the fact that they may be looking for a receiver with a bigger body. Hilton is a small and fast wide receiver himself, but the Colts do a lot worse than acquiring Cooks to be their No. 2 wideout.
Next up, the Patriots have to be added to this list. Even with the departure of Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Belichick and company are going to do everything in their power to remain competitive. They will have two find a quality quarterback to replace Brady, but whoever that is will need weapons to work with.
Julian Edelman is still in town, but adding Brandin Cooks would give the Patriots a two-headed monster at receiver. Cooks also has familiarity with Josh McDaniels and Belichick from playing for New England back in 2017. In that season, he caught 65 passes for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns.
Due to the NFL offseason likely being shortened because of the coronavirus, acquiring a player that already knows the system would be wise for New England. Cooks would definitely fit that bill and could help the Patriots remain among the elite in the AFC.
Finally, there is one team who would be an absolutely perfect fit for the skill-set that Cooks brings to the field. That team would be the Green Bay Packers, who have to find more weapons for Aaron Rodgers.
Last season, the Packers saw Davante Adams go down with a toe injury. Even with him missing four games, Adams was by far the top receiver on the roster. Green Bay needs to find a player who can come in, bring speed and playmaking, and be a secondary go-to target for Rodgers.
Brandin Cooks would be that guy for them, assuming it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to acquire him. He would fit perfectly into the Matt LaFleur offense and would take the Packers’ offense to the next level. Green Bay should aggressively pursue a trade for Cooks.